When do you unblock the nest boxes?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sBrickmanHouse, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. sBrickmanHouse

    sBrickmanHouse Songster

    Feb 10, 2008
    I have blocked off the openings to the nest boxes with some cardboard, wanting to keep my almost 12 week old girls from making a mess in them.

    I know we've got a ways to go still before they start laying, but when do you open the nest boxes for them?
  2. reallemons1

    reallemons1 Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    Gloucester, VA
    I'd wait until they are about 5-7 months when their combs turn real red, they start to 'sing' and maybe find an egg on the floor [​IMG].
  3. When your girls are 18 weeks old, open up the boxes and put in some nice comfty straw/hay for them. They will naturally be nosey and visit them often.

    IF your roosting poles are higher than the nest boxes, you should have no problem with them roosting in the nest boxes. Its the chickens nature to roost as high as possible and thus they will be drawn from the nest.

    It's better for them to start off laying in the nest boxes than to have to acclimate to them later.

  4. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    open the nests at 18 to 20wks.an put in some shavings.as hay promotes more mite problems.an put some fake eggs in nests to show them thats where they lay eggs.
  5. RockHouseRanch

    RockHouseRanch Hatching

    Apr 14, 2008
    I've got a related question...I've had my nesting boxes open from the beginning... is there any problem with that? My babies are about 5 weeks old and just moved into their new coop this week. They love hanging out in the boxes, especially the ones on the top row. It doesn't bother me a bit to clean them out - I have access to them from outside the coop, so it's about a 5 minute deal. Is there any reason, other than to keep them clean, that I shouldn't be letting them in there?
  6. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    My chickens also had access to our nest boxes from day one in their hen house.

    The only issue with them being in the nest boxes and pooping in them is that you get dirty eggs. That's frustrating.

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